8 of the Best Red Lipstick Looks for Spring 2012

Red lips are big for spring, and here are a bunch of ways to wear them.
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Michelle Villett
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Red lips are big for spring, and here are a bunch of ways to wear them.
Jason-Wu-Spring-2012-lipstick

Remember when fashion had rules? Like no white after Labour Day, and not mixing your metals, and having to match your shoes with your handbag? Then all of that went out the window—VERY out the window—and now I feel like the same thing is happening in Beauty Land.

It's red lips of which I speak, and they used to be strictly fall/winter territory. I know this because every time I wrote a magazine beauty trend round-up, red lips were inevitably in there. (Do they count as a trend if they happen every single year?) Anyway, then we'd all switch to pretty pastels from May through August. Of course, things started to change with the whole fuchsia and orange lipstick craze of 2010 and 2011. And now, it seems, beauty has finally caught up with fashion. Red lips have officially arrived as a valid warm-weather option... which means there really aren't any colour rules, or seasons anymore.

Know what else it means? There's a red lip for everyone. EVERYONE! Let's take a look at some runway and real-life examples (and why they work) to get inspired.

Orange red at Jason Wu

Jason-Wu-Spring-2012-lipstick-2

Have you heard? Pantone says orange—well, specifically, a shade named Tangerine Tango—is the colour of the year for 2012. How fitting then, that it's echoed here in this bright pop art hue. (The model's lips make it even better. Oh, and the pic at the top is from this show too. Swoon.) I posted both just to show that just like you can wear red at any time of year, you can also wear it on any skin tone. Even an orange red. See?

Glossy red at Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean-Paul-Gaultier-Spring-2012-lipstick

I love a ridiculously glossy, '70s-style vinyl red... but okay, maybe without this hairdo. For me, this is more of an evening look because I think it needs some eye drama (like these long lashes) to balance out the high shine down below.

Poppy red at Christian Dior

Christian-Dior-Spring-2012

And this show would be my favourite. Love a poppy red lip, love a poppy red nail (with a round shape, natch) and love it even more when both are paired together. It's so ladylike yet modern! Notice how the texture here is creamy but not quite matte.

Coral red at Anna Sui

Anna-Sui-Spring-2012

This version is sort of halfway between the Jason Wu and the Christian Dior. A soft, subtle coral that looks like it's been blotted down a bit. This would be the way to go if you don't want to go too dark or too bright. It's very Mad Men, no?

Metallic red at YSL

YSL-Spring-2012-lipstick

You know what? I hated this on first sight, but now it's growing on me. Let's all tone down the eyes (and not bleach the shiz out of our eyebrows)... now, can't you picture the lip for a summer evening with hair up, bronzey skin and bare shoulders? I sure can. And I do think we'll see more of this metallic type of texture in the future.

And now, because real-life examples are always good too, let's check out some recent celebrity red lips...

Glossy red on Emma Stone

Emma-Stone-Spiderman-photocall-April-2012

Ems was looking a tad washed out with the lighter hair colour... but now, with this lipstick, I'm actually getting on board with it.

Matte red on Lucy Hale

Lucy-Hale-ABC-Family-West-Coast-Upfronts

This is a perfect real-life example of the Anna Sui lips. Soft colour, and softly blotted so there are no hard edges and the colour is really subtle.

Okay, now take a deep breath and get ready for the next one.

Coral red on... Lindsay Lohan?

Lindsay-Lohan-White-House-Correspondents-Association-Dinner

YES. Believe it. I really am using Lindsay as a beauty example... someone pinch me. You know, I still have issues (many issues) with the skin, and the hair, and what's been put INTO the skin—but I have to give credit where it's due. And she kind of nailed this lip.

Tell me:

Did you used to save your red lipstick for fall/winter or were you already a rule breaker and wearing it year-round?
Which runway look is your fave?
Will you give LiLo some beauty props here—or does she still have a long way to go?